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Thad N. Tinder

October 17, 1942 — September 22, 2022


Thad N. Tinder

Thad Newell Tinder, PhD was a son, husband, father, brother, uncle, mentor and lifelong student.

Thad was born in Hutchinson, Kansas on October 17th, 1942 to Katherine Newell and Charles Tinder. When Thad was eight, the family moved to Germany, where his father was employed with the US Army Department of Education.  The family lived in post-war Germany for several years.

Katherine, Thad and Lee returned from Germany to live in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.  In 1960, Thad graduated from College High HS. After graduation, he worked at the Boy Scouts national campground as an Eagle Scout in northern New Mexico, guiding and teaching backcountry camping skills to groups of young scouts.  Seeking greater adventure and purpose, he enlisted in the US Navy, and was soon stationed at Miramar, in California.  He was always the first to volunteer for extra work and duties.  While at sea, aboard the USS Ranger CV-61, he was a proud member of the Flight Deck Crew, charged with maintaining delicate aircraft RADAR and radio communication components.  After six years of service, Thad was ready to pursue his dream of becoming a teacher.  

Thad graduated from Pasadena City College and UCLA in 1965 and 1967, respectively. He then began a passionate career in the educational system.  After several more years on the west coast, Thad moved to Colorado with his first wife, settling in Greeley, to complete a master's degree from the University of Northern Colorado.  It was during this time that his first son, Hayes was born.  Thad took his first Principal position in Plainview, NE.  Thad's oldest daughter Cecily was born in Plainview. He then was hired by the Omaha Public Schools system and moved to Omaha with Principalships at Fontenelle, Benson West and Central Park. Holly, Thad's youngest daughter, was born in Omaha.  Following a great deal of hard work and perseverance, Thad received his Doctorate of Education from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1979.  

It was in 1985 when an usher seated Thad next to a young woman at West Hills Presbyterian Church.  From this chance encounter, he met Janie, the woman with whom he would spend the rest of his life.  Together, they faced and overcame many of life's obstacles and built a beautiful life together of 36 years of marriage. Thad lovingly welcomed Scott, Janie's son and now his youngest, when they married.  Thad took a position at Northwestern Bell in the early 80's where he worked in the Marketing Department as it changed from one phone company to another. It was here where he received the Entrepreneur Award Of The Year in 1988 and State Recognition Award from former Governor Kay Orr. He also taught marketing classes at local community colleges when he was able.  Thad retired 14 years later and began working with Janie in the family property management company.

Thad was always a fountain of creative new ideas, stories, and plans that he shared with those he loved.  Throughout his life, he cultivated a number of wide-ranging hobbies; painting, woodworking, bicycling, teaching young children developmental reading, mentoring a Central High school student, and hosting three exchange students from Germany and Japan. One of his proudest achievements was writing and publishing Selling the Solution, The Leaders Resource for Marketing Ideas, in 2003.  

Thad volunteered for Golden Retriever Rescue in Nebraska for over 20 years with Janie.  He also volunteered at CHI printshop and Lakeside Hospital. Often, you could find him reading spy thrillers and westerns, or in his shop carving wooden figures, listening to the Gypsy Kings, Linda Rondstat or the Bee Gees.  Thad loved traveling with Janie, family and friends and took many trips to the beach, mountains, and overseas.  You can be reminded how sentimental he was by the rocks he collected and marked.  If you have a gift of his woodcarving, you know the care and pride he took in creating something - just for you.

Thad’s family was a great source of joy in his life. He loved being outside in nature, drinking a cup of coffee while eating a doughnut, building a fire, finding treasures at thrift stores, driving a convertible with the top down or finding a suitable walking stick. He loved his family and was so proud of all they had accomplished thus far in their lives. He loved being able to watch his grandchildren grow and see them participate in many activities.  His creativity, endless drive to learn and spirit lives on in them.

Thad Tinder impacted many lives in a multitude of ways, never wanting to take credit. He preferred to do the work, and watch from a distance as the things he did made a difference.  He would remind us all, 'think small' and know thyself. We all hope to carry forth his legacy.  

Thad is survived by his wife, Janie Tinder, children and honorary children, Hayes (Lisa) Murray, Cecily Tinder, Holly (Jesse) Bueno, Scott Hunter, Sebastian (Franzi) Freynik, Maren Kaemmerer, grandchildren Holly, Brett, Chase Murray, Kennedy, Gage, Isley Bueno, brother Lee (Bonnie) Tinder, sisters-in law, Karen Engborg and Sandy Conrad and nieces and nephews.

Thad was preceded in death by his parents Katherine and Charles, and his beloved Goldens, Brandy, Julie, Rivers, and Coal.


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Saturday, October 29, 2022

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